The University of Houston has launched a new corporate giving program that brings companies closer to the students whose lives are affected by their gifts.
Cougar Corporate Partners funnels half of each company’s donations directly to scholarships, with the other half split between UH’s M.D. Anderson Library and the University Career Services Center.
The first $5,000 scholarships will be awarded in August. To qualify, students must be Texas residents, demonstrate financial need, have completed 60 credit hours and be enrolled fulltime. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible, although those in professional programs are not. Successful applicants must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
“Cougar Corporate Partners allows employers to invest directly in programs that will have an immediate impact on the students who will make up their future workforce,” said Eloise Stuhr, vice president for University Advancement for the University of Houston. “We appreciate these companies committing to this important program.”
Four companies – CenterPoint Energy, Data Foundry, Marathon Oil and Total – have signed on for the program since it began earlier this year.
“Marathon Oil is proud to be one of the first Cougar Corporate Partners,” said Deanna Jones, vice president for human resources and administrative services. “The University of Houston is one of our preferred educational partners because of their commitment to developing diverse and talented students with the capabilities to meet the future challenges of our industry. Our partnership is integral to our future business success, and we look forward to continuing our support of their programs.”
UH is the major pipeline for the Houston area’s future workforce, with about 80 percent of University graduates remaining in the greater Houston region. Cougar Corporate Partners is a way for employers to invest in training those workers, through scholarships, library resources that students will use for study and research, and career services which help students find internships and jobs after graduation.
Companies may participate at different levels -- $10,000, $30,000, $50,000 and $100,000 a year; in exchange, they receive benefits linked to the level of giving, including invitations to present to student groups, preferred locations at internship and career fairs and invitations to University events.
“The program gives companies a chance to lead by example, engage with the University on a broad spectrum and directly impact the students,” said Robin Seth, UH assistant director of corporate relations.